Nitric oxide: A clinically important amniotic fluid marker to distinguish between intra-amniotic mycoplasma and non-mycoplasma infections

Chaur Dong Hsu, Kristen R. Aversa, Li Cheng Lu, Erika Meaddough, David Jones, Ray O. Bahado-Singh, Joshua A. Copel, In Sik Lee

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

8 Scopus citations


The objective of this study was to determine whether the measurements of amniotic fluid nitric oxide metabolite (NOx: nitrate + nitrite) concentrations could be a clinically useful marker to differentiate between intra-amniotic mycoplasma and nonmycoplasma infections. Amniocentesis was performed on 76 pregnant women with suspicion of intra-amniotic infection. Intra-amniotic infection was defined as the presence of a positive amniotic fluid culture with either mycoplasma or nonmycoplasma infections. Rapid amniotic fluid tests for Gram stain, glucose, leukocyte counts, interleukin- 6, and NOx were performed. Amniotic fluid NOx was measured with aspergillus nitrate reductase and Griess reagent. Interleukin-6 was determined by enzyme immunoassays. Amniotic fluid NOx and interleukin-6 were normalized by amniotic fluid creatinine levels. Patients with intra-amniotic mycoplasma (n = 7) and nonmycoplasma infections (n = 8) had significantly higher amniotic fluid leukocyte counts and interleukin-6 concentrations and significantly lower amniotic fluid glucose levels than noninfected controls (n = 61). Amniotic fluid concentrations of NOx were significantly higher in those with intraamniotic nonmycoplasma infection as compared to those with intraamniotic mycoplasma infection and noninfected controls (NOx: 3.35 ± 0.74 vs. 2.03 ± 0,41 μmol/mg creatinine, p = 0.005, and 3.35 ± 0.74 vs. 1.72 ± 0.07 μmol/mg creatinine, p < 0.0001, respectively). However, patients with intra- amniotic mycoplasma infection did not differ significantly from noninfected controls. Our data indicate that clinical characteristics of intra-amniotic mycoplasma infection may differ from intra-amniotic nonmycoplasma infection. As delivery is not always indicated in intra-amniotic mycoplasma infection, elevated rapid amniotic fluid tests (leukocyte counts, interleukin-6, and glucose) may not be appropriate in the clinical management of intra-amniotic mycoplasma infection. In addition to these rapid amniotic fluid tests, incorporation of the measurement of amniotic fluid NOx may be of clinical importance in the differentiation and management of patients with suspected intra-amniotic mycoplasma and nonmycoplasma infection.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)161-166
Number of pages6
JournalAmerican Journal of Perinatology
Issue number4
StatePublished - 1999
Externally publishedYes


  • Amniotic fluid
  • Interleukin-6
  • Intra-amniotic infection
  • Mycoplasma
  • Nitric oxide

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health
  • Obstetrics and Gynecology


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